Respiratory Therapist

Student listens to lungs with stethiscope

Help people breathe easier. Learn to use life-saving equipment and care for patients with lung or heart problems, while entering a field that's full of opportunity.

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What Do Respiratory Therapists Do?

The Respiratory Therapist program at Somerset Community College prepares graduates to provide and manage client care by becoming members within the discipline of respiratory care. Graduates are prepared and eligible to take credentialing examinations administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) to practice as entry level practitioners (CRT) as well as advanced level practitioners (RRT). Like most states in the nation, Kentucky has a mandatory certification law for Respiratory Care Practitioners. This certification gives the holder the right to practice respiratory care in the Commonwealth. Reciprocity exists between Kentucky and most all other states.

All students planning to apply to the next Respiratory Therapist Program, beginning January 2020 MUST attend a Pre-Admission Conference prior to applying. Pre-Admission Conference Dates

What are my career options?

Respiratory Therapists work as important members of the health care team and provide treatments to clients with cardiopulmonary disorders. Most therapists are employed in cardiopulmonary medicine or respiratory care departments of hospitals. Others are employed by home health agencies, pulmonary rehabilitation programs, pulmonary function laboratories, medical device companies, and physician offices. For further information regarding this profession, please visit

What are my degrees, diploma, and certificate options?

Advising Plans

Respiratory Care Admissions Point System
Download Respiratory Care Program Overview (pdf)

Additional Information

  • Five semester program
  • Leads to an Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) with a general education requirement of 23 hours
  • Respiratory Care Technical Coursework (47 hours)
  • Theory/Skills presented in lecture/lab format
  • Clinical Component: Held in clinical sites which provide services to respiratory patients
  • Highly Recommended general education courses of 6-7 hours.

Accreditation Information

The Respiratory Therapist program has been awarded Continuing Accreditation status by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC), 1248 Harwood Road, Bedford, TX  76021-4244, (817) 283-2835 or


To prepare graduates with demonstrated competence in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains of respiratory care practice as performed by registered respiratory therapists (RRTs).

Length of Program

You can earn an associate in applied science degree in two years if you maintain full-time status.

This information should not be considered a substitute for the KCTCS Catalog. You should always choose classes in cooperation with your faculty advisor to ensure that you meet all degree requirements.

Program Contact

Jess Hoskins
Program Coordinator

Program Contact

Jason Asher

Program Contact

Angie Mills

Program Contact

Kathy Howard
Administrative Assistant